The WRK Group Empowers Northeast Wilmington to Reach Its Potential
educating-myself | Read Time: 3 minutes
By Kyle Babcock | Published: August 2021
The WRK Group in Wilmington brings together a collection of three nonprofits – The Warehouse, REACH Riverside, and Kingswood Community Center (KCC) – working in unison to make a major impact on the city.
“Our three nonprofits work collectively to help empower the most impoverished neighborhood in Wilmington, where 70% of our children live in poverty, to reach its full potential,” said Logan S. Herring, Sr., Chief Executive Officer of The WRK Group.
“We were fortunate to receive a large contribution from WSFS in 2018, which provided us with the enterprise capital needed to plan and scale The Warehouse to what it has turned into three years later,” he said. “WSFS’ support also established credibility amongst other investors, and since then, we have raised almost $35 million toward our goal of $55 million in our capital campaign, allowing us to bring much needed resources to a community that has seen nothing but disinvestment for decades.”
These investments from individuals and organizations have allowed The WRK Group to continue to build and expand its services and programs.
The Kingswood Community Center, founded in 1946, serves residents of all ages, including providing an early learning academy, before and after care, and a senior center.
REACH Riverside (Redevelopment Education and Community Health) is a community development corporation created to lead the $250 million revitalization of the Riverside neighborhood under the nationally acclaimed, and Warren Buffett funded, Purpose Built Communities model, and will include 600 units of mixed-income housing and a new state of the art KCC.
The Warehouse is a co-working facility and network for teen-serving organizations designed to address violence, academic performance, and workforce readiness amongst Wilmington’s youth. After the former Prestige Academy building was donated to The Warehouse in 2018, the organization renovated the facility, transforming it to a modern, open-floor concept designed “for teens, by teens.” The Warehouse already has nearly 500 teen members, and 125 teens will be employed by the end of 2021.
“Our multi-year grant to The Warehouse is the largest Foundation grant that WSFS has funded to date,” said Vernita L. Dorsey, Sr. Vice President and Director of Community Strategy at WSFS. “I recall leaving Kingswood Community Center after Logan presented the plan to us, and discussing how innovative this idea was and the impact that it could make on the Eastside of Wilmington. We’re proud to support this work and are so glad that we were able to articulate Logan’s initial vision, which has since expanded, to our Foundation Board who wholeheartedly supported it, and are now seeing firsthand how our dollars are assisting in empowering change in the community.”
Among just a few of the programs provided by The WRK Group:
- Early Learning Academy at KCC: A 122-capacity high-quality early learning environment for children ages one through five.
- EMPOWER (Economic Mobility Places Ownership Within Everyone’s REACH): An economic mobility initiative that supports existing residents in their pursuit of self-sufficiency.
- RESTORE (Real Estate Strategy To Obtain Racial Equity): An established fund and initiative focused on site control and land acquisition strategy.
- RISE (Reaching and Investing in Youth for Sustainable Employment): A 90-day workforce training program for teens that culminates in an internship in various career tracks.
“In addition to these programs, we also manage Kingswood Academy, an alternative school located inside of The Warehouse for 7th-12th graders that partners with displaced youth from the six school districts that serve New Castle County,” Herring said.
“We applaud the amazing efforts of The WRK Group throughout the community and look forward to assisting these organizations for years to come in making a positive impact on the trajectory of Northeast Wilmington,” said Dorsey.
About the Author – Kyle Babcock
Kyle Babcock is Integrated Communications Strategist at WSFS Bank. He has more than eight years of experience in product and professional services marketing, communications and advertising.
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